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In Journal of biomedical informatics ; h5-index 55.0

BACKGROUND : Nowadays, with the digitalization of healthcare systems, huge amounts of clinical narratives are available. However, despite the wealth of information contained in them, interoperability and extraction of relevant information from documents remains a challenge.

OBJECTIVE : This work presents an approach towards automatically standardizing Spanish Electronic Discharge Summaries (EDS) following the HL7 Clinical Document Architecture. We address the task of section annotation in EDSs written in Spanish, experimenting with three different approaches, with the aim of boosting interoperability across healthcare systems and hospitals.

METHODS : The paper presents three different methods, ranging from a knowledge-based solution by means of manually constructed rules to supervised Machine Learning approaches, using state of the art algorithms like the Perceptron and transfer learning-based Neural Networks.

RESULTS : The paper presents a detailed evaluation of the three approaches on two different hospitals. Overall, the best system obtains a 93.03% F-score for section identification. It is worth mentioning that this result is not completely homogeneous over all section types and hospitals, showing that cross-hospital variability in certain sections is bigger than in others.

CONCLUSIONS : As a main result, this work proves the feasibility of accurate automatic detection and standardization of section blocks in clinical narratives, opening the way to interoperability and secondary use of clinical data.

Goenaga Iakes, Lahuerta Xabier, Atutxa Aitziber, Gojenola Koldo


Electronic discharge summaries, HL7 Clinical Document Architecture, Interoperability, Section identification